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Stretching your Canine Dollars

In today’s challenging economic times, most of us are spending less to save more. But saving money doesn’t mean you need to skimp on caring for your pet. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) ‘Cost of Dog Ownership’ survey, each year the average dog owner spends approximately $2,500 on maintenance fees such as food and veterinary care.

Following are some ideas to help keep canine costs down, without compromising the quality of your pet’s health and well being.

Check out local newspapers, fliers and pet publications for discounts, promotions, coupons and free samples. When shopping for your dog, try to buy items in wholesale or bulk quantities, especially when they are on sale. Many pet stores offer specials or frequent buyer discounts, while some food vendors provide coupons for customer loyalty, large quantities or new product brands.

Ask if your veterinarian offers any types of discounts on services, products or food. If your dog needs a prescription for an illness or ongoing condition, ask about generic brands and shop around first for the best competitive price. See if they offer pharmaceutical promotional samples, which can reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs

If you own a newly registered AKC puppy, the AKC offers some great registration benefits, including a free introductory veterinarian office visit and a complimentary 60-day trial* of pet health insurance. They also provide valuable information in a variety of areas, including canine health research, search-and-rescue services and responsible dog ownership.

Prepare for the Unexpected
Along with maintaining good canine health and regular veterinary check-ups, there are other things you can do to save money. Make certain you ‘dog-proof’ your home and keep hazardous items out of reach. Keeping your dog indoors or on a leash can help prevent illnesses and injuries — and avoid unnecessary medical expenses.

Even when you’re careful, dogs can get away. A gate may blow open or some other accident can occur at any time. Your dog could wind up lost, costing you both time and money to try to recover him. Make certain your dog wears an identification tag with your name, address and phone number at all times. Consider having your dog microchipped, which is one way to permanently identify and help recover your dog should he become lost. You might also want to enroll in the AKC Companion Animal Recovery service. They maintain a large database of microchipped pets.

As careful as you might be, sometimes the unexpected or unthinkable happens. Wonderful advances in veterinary care often means that decisions about what is affordable can weigh heavily on pet owners. One solution for budget-minded owners is pet healthcare insurance. As the word spreads about affordable pet healthcare insurance, more and more pet owners are enrolling in plans that fit their needs. Pet insurance options can help provide a way to manage veterinary expenses while giving your pet affordable medical care.

The AKC Pet Healthcare Plans offer quality and affordable coverage for as little as pennies a day. You can choose from our Accident or Essential plans that can cover unexpected illnesses or injuries, or plans that also offer Wellness coverage. The Wellness plans cover flea, tick and heartworm prevention, as well as an annual check-up, annual dental cleaning and vaccinations. The Wellness Plus Plan offers additional coverage for spaying and neutering, vaccine titers and emergency boarding (if you are hospitalized). For more details on our plans and a no-obligation quote, visit www.akcpethealthcare.com or call toll-free 1.866.725.2747. It’s time well spent when you consider the protection it provides for both you and your pets.

Take a bite out of your pet care costs. Learn how to buy shrewdly, focus on prevention, avoid unnecessary items or procedures and keep your dog healthy. These habits can help enable you to significantly cut your expenses and survive economic downturns — while keeping your dog healthy and happy!

*The 60-Day Trial Plan is provided by the master policy issued to the Association of American Pet Owners. Activation required. Administered by PetPartners, Inc. Underwritten by Markel Insurance Company, 4600 Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060, rated A “Excellent” by A.M. Best Company. Not available in all states and only available to US residents. Eligibility restrictions apply. Contact PetPartners, Inc. for terms and conditions Must be activated within 28 days of AKC Certificate Issued date. Visit www.akcphp.com/trial or call toll free at 1-866-725-2747.

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